We all want to create a world of love. We want to help our fellow man. We want to live in harmony with the earth. I offer two simple practices that can move us there. One to do, one to stop doing. We can begin to make a practice of acknowledgment and we can desist with complaining.
Every sentient thing in this world, wants acknowledgment. We humans, most of all. We want to be seen for who we truly are. Acknowledgment is a powerful gift that we can give one another that feeds our soul in a way that no material gift can. It costs nothing, is a joy to give and the benefits are reflected back to us as we see the other shine their light more brightly. It is true, what you feed, grows. Think of the power of that! We want to live in a world of love so let’s feed that love in one another by acknowledging it in action wherever we find it.
How many of us recall an acknowledgment by another that helped us find our path. Someone might have said, “You are a natural teacher. You are able to engage with everyone, right where they are. That is a gift.” That could have set a person’s career path alight in front of them. I am reminded of a Cameron Diaz movie, In Her Shoes, about two sisters. One is the responsible, successful one and the other is seen as a failure. When the one who has appeared a failure, moves to a new environment with her grandmother and her elderly community, she is seen in a new way. She receives acknowledgment for her gifts and after a time, is able to begin to see herself in a new light. Her world changes from one of despair to one of joy. She comes to know herself as a valuable being with gifts to give.
That is how powerful acknowledgment can be. It can change our lives. We have not been taught to acknowledge our own gifts, except perhaps those that provide us a living as a career. Let’s expand that and acknowledge the beingness rather than the doingness of another. Every day we witness others being kind, cheerful, thoughtful, courageous, a pillar of strength, joy-filled, loving, playful, fearless…….the list goes on. By taking the time to acknowledge the gift being shown by the other, we allow it to grow more prominently into being. If I acknowledge the patience that the cashier showed to the elderly man in front of me in line, she is more likely to be patient with the next customer. If I am acknowledged as a good listener, I will strive to be a better one. As Mother Teresa said, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
It works with everything. I acknowledge this laptop, that I am typing on, for its many wonderful years of service to me, always being ready to work when I am. I acknowledge and express appreciation to the salamanders (the elementals of fire) for burning so merrily for me this chilly morning. I acknowledge my car for starting up every time I turn the key. I acknowledge the beauty of the sun as it begins its streaks of color across my backyard. As I walk by my fern plant, I caress its fronds in tenderness and gratitude for its lacy beauty. I acknowledge our mother earth for the gift of water that I drink and food that I eat. I talk to everything, acknowledging the gifts they bring into my life. I believe that everything responds, reflecting that love back to me. Our world is full of beings that want to serve us just as our natural impulse is to be of service to others.
Our society provides established routes of service: working at the soup kitchen, donating money to charity, volunteering at a shelter, and the list goes on. What about the things that no one sees, that we can’t point to, to feed our egos? Acknowledgment is one such thing; a low key, quick and easy way to uplift the energies of all about us. How about setting yourself a goal of acknowledging something about someone, known to you and unknown to you, a few times a day. Be on the lookout for behavior that you want amplified in this new world and shine your light on it with your words. I believe that it is a practice that will bring you great rewards. Let’s begin a chain of acknowledgment, spotlighting the good we wish to see grow in this world. It begins with me and with you.
Another simple way to clean up our world: stop complaining. Turn those thoughts to appreciation instead. Our words hold power and we are learning to utilize that power in more mindful ways. Complaints are weighty and our mother earth bears the effect. They are toxic energy that we all have within our power to clean up. It is a choice that we are free to make each moment. Complaining feeds on itself and can become a way of life. The next time something you do not like shows up in your world, take a breath and connect to our mother earth. Feel how you can view the situation with appreciation for what it has to offer you instead of complaining about it. Our mother will smile and send you a wave of appreciation in return.
When you hear folks complain about all the wrongs of this world, smile and share with them a couple of simple ways to make it right. Trust that you are doing something powerful to assist in raising the vibration of this earth by using your words to acknowledge the wonder that you see about you, in people and things and in yourself. I would love to hear your stories of how implementing this practice has impacted your world. I Know it will spread light everywhere you shine it!